On 30 August 2019, UNU-IAS held a side event at the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) to showcase the contributions of young researchers towards achieving the SDGs in Africa, as part of the institute’s Global Leadership Training Programme in Africa (GLTP). The event, Toward the Achievement of the SDGs and Promotion of TICAD for Africa – Contribution of Youth Researchers from Japan, brought together around 100 participants including students, teachers, and practitioners.
Under GLTP Japanese postgraduate students spend time at universities and institutes in Africa conducting research that contributes towards achieving the SDGs on the continent. Since the inception of the project in 2013 a total of 57 participants have worked at 23 institutions in 13 African countries. The project is supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan.
The side event featured welcoming remarks by Osamu Saito (Academic Director & Academic Programme Officer, UNU-IAS) and Satoshi Nara (MEXT), followed by an introduction of GLTP and its field-oriented, hands-on training approach by Natsuko Imai (Programme Associate, UNU-IAS).
Six graduates of GLTP presented the results of their research in line with the three priorities of the TICAD6 Nairobi Declaration, as well as their current research.
Twenty-one GLTP participants conducted research focused on pillar 1, “promoting structural economic transformation through economic diversification and industrialisation”. Takafumi Kudo (GLTP 2018) presented an overview of these research topics, followed by Toru Hamamoto (GLTP 2015) summarising research outcomes on “The effects of organic amendments on carbon dynamics in agricultural soils in Zambia”.
Yukiko Nakamura (GLTP 2018) provided an overview of GLTP research results on Pillar 2 “promoting resilient health systems for quality of life”, on behalf of 12 GLTP participants. Yukiko Tateyama (GLTP 2015) introduced her research outcomes on the topic “Contribution to the SDGs through Mobile Health (mHealth)”.
Research related to Pillar 3, “promoting social stability for shared prosperity” was conducted by 24 GLTP participants. Sho Tanaka (GLTP 2016) summarised research under this theme, and Kenta Miyamoto (GLTP 2016) presented his results and experience in Uganda in his presentation “Toward the contribution to SDGs on Peacebuilding & Education Development through the results built by GLTP”.
A panel discussion facilitated by Haruya Toyomaki (GLTP 2016) featured 6 presenters, exchanging views and field experiences with participants in the audience. In a closing statement Osamu Saito encouraged students and participants to advance research on the SDGs and Africa, and further contribute to the TICAD process.